MONTREAL — The lumberjacks have set up camp just north of the border.
La Tohu presents its all-ages holiday production “Timber!” by circus troupe Cirque Alfonse, which runs now through Monday, Dec. 31.
Cirque Alfonse co-founder and performer Antoine Carabinier got the inspiration for “Timber!” from days spent at his family home in St. Alphonse-Rodriguez, which is about an hour and a half north of Montreal, during his youth.
“Oh, it’s in the woods,” Carabinier quipped. He even named his circus troupe after the town.
The troupe created the show in a barn on the property.
“We rebuilt the barn to have a nice place to rehearse,” he said.
Carabinier incorporated elements he found in the barn into the act — everything from a wood-plank table to a wagon wheel. To warm up before rehearsals, the troupe even chopped wood.
“And we used real wood, real axes and real saws, just like we do in the show.
“So our props are based on the actual tools used by a lumberjack,” he said.
Additionally, Carabinier said the show is based on his family. Sharing the stage with him are his dad, sister, stepbrother and nephew.
“Everybody is on stage,” he quipped.
Carabinier and fellow cast members Jonathan Casaubon and Guillaume Saladin all trained in circus performing arts. They learned their craft at the Montreal Circus School about 15 years ago. His sister, Julie, has her background as a professional dancer. Carabinier said that his dad, now 66 years old, is enjoying a second career as a circus performer.
“He used to hang wallpaper,” Carabineer said. “He’s been performing in our circus for the past six years.”
Carabinier said that performing with his dad “is a gift.
“My parents supported me throughout my education,” he said. “And my dad has always wanted to be on stage, but he never got the chance. So I’m glad we gave him that chance.”